Thursday, December 23, 2004
View Reel (10MB) | Preview docs | Download PyroPack (this download includes AE projects and docs)
Peder Norrby / Trapcode
Trapcode Particular is one incredible plug-in and I've seen it on loads of Christmas ads lately, doing that text wipe thing that is a preset. You have seen it, I am sure. Particular is everywhere. Read our review here.
Because you must have it, click here to own it.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
While you're at the Fnord site, check out some of their other fine products, many are free. I love free. Free is my middle name.
Monday, December 20, 2004
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Freebie info is at the end of the article
I really had the idea that broadcastGEMs was another knock-off of ArtBeats or Digital Juice JumpBacks when I first heard about it. Well, I was off quite a bit on that assumption (and my pa always said "Don't assume -- it just makes an ass out of u and me."). I'm sure your pa told you the same thing.
broadcastGEMs are more of a toolbox for the artist that goes above and beyond plug-ins. There are no rendered comps, no movies, nothing completed. That's your job. Make it yours. The package is targeted to broadcast professionals who are under tight deadlines and lots of pressure to create neato cool graphics cheaply. broadcastGEMs is totally on the mark. To steal a tagline from one of my favorite sites, istockphoto.com, it's the designers dirty little secret.
Read the rest of the article and see some samples... oh yeah, download the freebie, too.
What are broadcastGEMs?broadcastGEMs are comps, FFX and other helpers for After Effects. There are premade mattes, backgrounds, text effects, reflections, buttons and lower-thirds. They are complex comps that would take quite a while to create from scratch. The great thing about this product is that the hard part is done for you and you get to modify and tweak them until your heart's content.
What's so great about broadcastGEMs?The projects are very well thought out. Just look at the impressive stack of effects that cohabitate on a single layer. Every effect is clearly labelled so that you know it's role and there are also comments on the layer so that you know what to tweak. Of course, you can adjust anything, the comments are just a way to help you along.
broadcastGEMs Volume01 AE Pro Series also comes with seamless tiles that can be used with text, as backgrounds or used as displacement maps. They're mainly rock textures and they're very colorful and organic. They're used in some of the "Expresso AEPs", or preset comps, but you can also use them for your own nefarious purposes.
Roland Kahlenberg, creator of broadcastGEMs, is an Adobe Certified Trainer and he really knows the program inside and out. I know the program really well too and I teach AE at an art college, but I have to say, I've learned a bit while going through the the broadcastGEMs projects. He uses certain techniques which I've never tried.
I don't think Roland considered that broadcastGEMs would also a great learning tool for newbies of AE. When I first started using AE, it would've been great to have broadcastGEMs. I could've studied the complex techniques and deconstruct to see how they're put together. They're not tutorials by any means, but some of us don't have the patience to read a manual or tutorials and would much rather just dig through some cool projects to see how they tick. When my pa was a kid he and his brothers got new watches for Christmas. Within a week they had taken them apart to literally see how they tick. They never got the watches back together. The same concept applies here, except you can always keep a "safe" copy of the projects in case you "break" them.
This product is targeted to broadcast professionals and although I do not work in broadcast, I do work under tight deadlines at the post-house where I work (yes, I have 3 jobs... and a toddler). I do a lot of graphics for corporate videos for big companies that are penny-pinching and self-restrained. This product would allow me to crank out the goods in no-time and allow me to customize each. This product is perfect for someone in my position.
Take a look at the sample I've included on the page - my cute kid playing in the leaves. It's an animated mask with a border, a moving organic-looking background and dynamic text that looks thick and textured. It literally took me 5 minutes to throw this together. Imagine what could be done with a little more effort, eh.
More info and the freebieSo, check out the page in the store to get all the details and be sure to check out the freebies that broadcastGEMs is offering - an Expresso comp and a FFX favorite for text that makes neat gold flecks on your text when you apply it. Download the broadcastGEMs Volume01 AE Pro Series freebie here.
Wednesday, December 08, 2004
I wanted to do something for all of the people I've met and who have helped me out this year with my training courseware. I couldn't really afford a present so the only thing I could think of was to put an entire CD tutorial online for you guys to play around with. This is the latest and in my opinion the best project lesson so far. It is also the first project lesson to be completed entirely in 6.5.
Tutorial CD 6 Atlanta Xplosion is located at The Anvel and then look under the free tutorials section.
PS I've include as much as I could from the Atlanta Xplosion CD but there was no way to upload the video at full resolution... so please forgive the low res quality of the Mov examples. "
Now isn't that nice! Thank you, Dean and The Anvel
Direct link to tutorial pages
Saturday, December 04, 2004
This tutorial addresses this fab feature. The tutorial is called "Using the New Continuum Complete Motion Tracker in After Effects".
This plug-in is pretty much the only plug-in package that you need when you first get AE. It has a bit of everything and it does it very well. Don't believe me? Download a demo here and play along with the tutorial..
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
It's a beginner level tutorial and fun for the whole family. The sample uses a still photo but you could easily replace it with moving video and motion track the effect to the eyes.
Tuesday, November 30, 2004
Sunday, November 28, 2004
- 20 Rendered, Customizable Animated Backgrounds
- 30+ Rendered, Customizable Animated Elements [2D and 3D - includes 20 Seamless Tiles (Still Images) and a Number of Vector Objects]
- 40+ AEPs
- Includes Numerous Elements created using Standard Version Plug-ins
- Includes 6 Expression Controlled Elements (designed and created by Dan Ebberts and Roland Kahlenberg)
a) Faux Par Reflection
b) Sniper Target System
d) Lower 3rd Creation Engine
e) Circular Matte Creation Engine
f) Seamless Texture Animator
- Includes 15 TexTures (in FFX Format) as Animation Presets. A small number of these TexTures will be emailed to users as part of the registration incentive process.
- Includes HTML documentation for easy reference of each AEP. No 'finished' backgrounds are supplied. This will prevent the likelyhood that no two 'finished' backgrounds are identical.
Questions? Send an email to sales@broadcastGEMs.com
Click to read the technical specs and the early sales deal!
Technical Specs- All supplied clips are rendered at double-frame rate (59.94fps for NTSC and 50fps for PAL) and at square-pixel aspect ratio (720x540 for NTSC and 768x576 for PAL)
- All supplied clips are rendered to Targa Sequences.
- Compatible with Adobe After Effects version 5.5 (Standard Version)
- NTSC & PAL versions are included in a single package.
Product Availability:broadcastGEMs Volume01 AE Pro Series is set to be released in the 1st
week of December 2004. Download a Zipped PDF (product brochure)
An Early-Bird Sales Call is on Right Now! Place your orders by midnight (EDT) November 30, 2004 and save $US40 on the suggested retail price of US$229. Normal Shipping charges are applicable. To place your early-bird order, send an email to sales@broadcastGEMs.com with the words "I want my AE Pro GEMs" in the subject line. In the body of your email, provide us with your address and the type of credit card you will be using for the order. We will get back to you and request for more pertinent payment information when the product is ready for shipping.
About broadcastGEMsbroadcastGEMs was founded in July 2004. The company specializes in creating high-quality, customizable, royalty-free animated backdrops for the broadcast industry. Founded by Roland Kahlenberg, an Adobe
After Effects Certified Expert & Instructor, Roland is also a host at www.CreativeCOW.net's Adobe After Effects Forum. broadcastGEMs' products are created by experienced producers and designers. This ensures that each product has a high usability score.
Tuesday, November 23, 2004
Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy is one of my favorite books of all time. It's filled with great advice: "A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have. You can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta... wet it for use in hand-to-hand combat... wrap it around your head to ward off noxious fumes... any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the Galaxy, rough it... win through, and still know where his towel is, is clearly a man to be reckoned with."
USA - NOVEMBER 2004: Special effects artist Greg Shimp, whose credits include all three Matrix movies, has become a firm advocate of Curious Software's new 16-bit paint and roto tool, Curious gFx Pro+, thanks to its ability to deliver consistently great results.
Over the last 12 months, Shimp has used the software on a number of major film projects including Ladykillers and Catwoman. His knowledge and expertise with Curious gFx Pro has recently landed him a position at CIS Hollywood, a Los-Angeles based visual effects company, which is currently looking at the possibility of implementing the software as a non-SGI alternative to Matador.
Launched in 2002, Curious Software's Curious gFx was specifically designed to meet the needs of the television, post-production and film industries. It includes a powerful paint engine for moving images, a sophisticated new roto-matte system and a range of features for wire and rig removal or content restoration. The software also offers the intuitive ease-of-use familiar to users of other Curious products such as Curious World Maps.
Continue reading press releaseGreg Shimp first came across Curious gFx when he was working on the Matrix sequels at San Francisco-based visual effects specialist, ESC.
"At first I didn't have the chance to delve into it because of time constraints on finishing the Matrix sequels," he explains. "But once they were completed I had the perfect opportunity to see what Curious gFx was capable of when our other software fell short on an extremely difficult paint shot for Ladykillers. I needed a PC software that allowed me to have subpixel accuracy when lining up a second layer to paint from. Despite the difficulties inherent in getting to know any new software, I was able to complete the task within deadline using Curious gFx. That success on such a difficult shot inspired me to continue experimenting by using the software on all types of shots."
Although Curious Software's founders have a long and impressive track record in creating special effects software for the film industry, the company itself is viewed as a relative newcomer and is best known for its innovative broadcast mapping software, Curious World Maps. With the launch of Curious gfx, the Curious team were keen to work closely with the industry to ensure that the new software offered exactly what end users wanted.
Greg Shimp says this ability to incorporate end user feedback was one of the main reasons why he was so impressed by the Curious Software team.
"I was impressed that somebody was finally attempting to develop a stand-alone paint/roto software and that they were eager to seek my input on how to improve it," he says. "It's great to have a new software dedicated to just doing paint/roto work, with a development team implementing suggestions for improvement quite quickly in updated versions. This is a major advantage because these days most paint/roto softwares are no longer being supported for added improvements."
Shimp's enthusiasm for Curious gFx eventually resulted in Circle S purchasing the software when he was hired to work from home on Catwoman. Because of budget constraints he was only allowed one piece of software, so he chose Curious gFx.
He explains: "I liked what I saw in Curious, especially with the immediate upgrades utilizing suggestions for improvement, and I felt fairly confidant about my chances on completing work in a timely manner using gFx. Thankfully, my instincts were correct. I was able to finish 30 mid to difficult bungee chord removal shots in just under three months for Catwoman and I was very pleased with the results I achieved."
Shimp adds that everything he has produced using Curious gFx has worked easily in other software as rendered out images.
"It's a decent piece of software, although, like most developing software it has it's annoying little bugs that need to be ironed out," he says. "Yet, there is a team at the ready to help eliminate all those problems and that makes all the difference. To date, I have not come across a single shot that I could not finish using Curious and, in time, I think it could be the standard paint/roto tool for the industry."
Greg Shimp is currently using Curious gFx on two new movies that are being graphically enhanced by CIS Hollywood.
"I'm using it for everything from simple roto and tracking marker removal to difficult wire/rig removals and complex roto of multiple moving people in one shot," he says.
About Curious SoftwareCurious Software is an innovative software company with a great pedigree. Founded in May 1999, Curious Software's aim is to make the highest quality professional information graphics available to everyone creating content for the television, post-production, Internet and corporate graphics industries. Curious Software products provide all the tools required to create stunning animations and presentations in easy-to-use and affordable packages. Our series of professional products are all based on a generic multi-ayered animation engine, designed to accelerate the creation of the highest quality graphics.
For more information about Curious gFx Pro please visit the Toolfarm gFx Pro page
We would love to know your thoughts and feelings on tutorials, products, articles and anything we post. As they say in Mexico: Mi granja de la herramienta es tu granja de la herramienta (My Toolfarm is your Toolfarm).
There is a lot of new content on the Inspiration page, so if you haven't been there in a while, I encourage to check it out (my current favorite: What Barry Thinks.)
Monday, November 22, 2004
If you scroll down the page, there's a bit on some upcoming films. More proof that there are no new ideas in Hollywood - another King Kong remake and Sarah Michelle Gellar in a supernatural thriller. I was kind of happy to see that Disney will be making a new "The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe". Love that one.
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
Trapcode Particular is an incredible plug-in for After Effects that gives the artist the ability to create realistic fire and smoke, as well as awe-inspiring organic "stuff".
Awe-inspiring? Yep. That's what I said. Feast your eyes on the samples over to the right. Go on. Glance over there. We'll wait. Click any of the images to view a short movie. Wow!
This plug-in has been out for a while, and those of you who already own it, I'm sure will agree, Particular is phat! I've recently used it quite a bit on projects, most notably, my School of Fish tutorial. The tutorial demonstrates how to make several fish that move individually, but together, as in a school. Although you probably don't have much use for animating sea bass, Particular makes Hollywood caliber explosions, sci-fi starfields, blizzardy snow, abstract dancing lines, glowing spheres and just about anything else you can think of that might be in groups.
Read the rest of the review and see more samplesAfter dabbling with the plug-in for few hours, I was hooked. This plug-in has comprehensive settings for every detail of the particle, which you would expect from any particle generator. What sets Particular apart from the crowd is the exceptional preview window, which lets you see what the settings look like without rendering. You can spin and turn your particles around in 3D space to view every angle.
Another great feature is the Animation Presets, which works like Favorites. Trapcode spent loads of time creating dazzling samples for you. When I first started using Particular, I was a bit overwhelmed by having so many options in Particular. The Animation Presets menu allowed me to jump in with two feet, find something similar to what I wanted and then tweaked them until I was content. Evened for the seasoned Particular user, setting up an effect from scratch could be laborous, but the preset menu allows one to choose something similar and modify the settings. It's really an efficiency tool in disguise.
The built-in help is superb. It's thourough and easy to understand. I am not the type to ever look at a manual or help section. I prefer to drive myself insane trying to figure things out on my own. I did look up the Aux System settings because I really didn't have a clue of what they did. Five minutes of reading through the built-in help and I was ready to go.
I did run into one thing that I wanted to do with the plug-in, but could not, and that is to create an enclosed area with a mask that would contain the particles. This can be done with Particle Playground, After Effects' built-in particle generator. Particle Playground works in 2D and Particular works in 3D, so I can see how difficult it would be to create a three dimensional mask. Maybe in future versions....
Overall, Trapcode Particular is freakin' awesome. I can't think of one other plug-in that is so versatile and makes me look so good, and that's really what it's all about, isn't it. Making your stuff look really good.
Trapcode Particular is available for download only. Toolfarm bundles Particular with other cool Trapcode products, too. The Trapcode 3D Pack includes Trapcode 3D Stroke, Particular, and Lux plug-ins. The Trapcode Suite 2004 bundle is the bomb - all 6 Trapcode plug-ins ( Shine, Starglow, 3D Stroke, Sound Keys, Lux and Particular). Trapcode consistently puts out must-have plug-ins, so believe me, I am not just blowing smoke (although I could with Particular - okay, bad joke).
You can achieve a variety of amazing film looks with Magic Bullet Suite SD and DifiEffects Cinelook, for example, which is a great product, but if you're without funds and need a simple and quick old film look in a pinch, check out this tutorial.
Sunday, November 14, 2004
The art college where I teach supplies freelance rates at the front desk. Many students don't know about this. If you're wondering what the freelance rates are in your town, a local college may be of help.
Wednesday, November 10, 2004
TIME: 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
EVENT FEE: FREE - The meeting is open to all for free, but we do ask that you pre-register here (no need to register if you have registered with them for a previous event).
Tuesday, November 09, 2004
Download the demo today and take it for a test drive.
Motion Graphics Los Angeles (MGLA) are demoing it at their next meeting. From their site: "One of the best things about the After Effects 6.5 upgrade is that it comes with a copy of Cycore FX (essentially a revamped edition of Final Effects Complete) for free. However, there are a few things missing, such as 16-bit and non-square-pixel support Cycore FX HD answers those questions, plus significantly enhances the particle system plug-ins and adds three new effects." Plus, they're giving away a copy.
So, what's so great about these Cycore HD plug-ins, you ask?Cycore FX HD contains the same filters as the original FEC (Metacreation era), plus new addtions, and the additions/improvments over Cycore FX (bundled).
New filters- Environment
Improvments in Cycore FX HD?- All filters are 16-bit
CC Particle World improvements- New Resistance control. Simulates how particles are influenced by resistance, coming from kinetic friction (air) or a substance's viscosity (water), as they move.
- New Particle Types. Textured Square, Textured Disc and Textured Faded Disc, featuring the ability to colorize particle texture with the standard particle color.
-New Texture control group with Texture Layer pop-up, Scatter control and Texture Time pop-up. The Texture Time control determines what frame(s) to use over the life span of particles when the selected source texture is a movie or a composition that contains animation.
- New Rotation Speed and Initial Rotation controls for particle types that have individual rotation. Rotation Speed determines the speed of particles? rotation and Initial Rotation adds randomness to particles? initial rotation angle at birth.
- New Volume Shade (approx.) control. Applies an approximate volume shading to the particles for an increased sense of 3D depth. This option is available for most animation systems and particles.
-New Transfer Mode Control. Determines the transfer mode used when particles overlap each other.
CC Particle Systems II improvements- New Source Alpha Inheritance control. Enables to control particle generation from a logo or other source with an alpha channel. This feature in combination with Animation Presets renders the PS Classic and PS LE Classic filters obsolete. The functionality of these two filters will be maintained with motion blur, more accurate subpixel precision, 16 bit per channel, more particle types and animations and generally more extensive controls.
- New Transfer Mode Control. Determines the transfer mode used when particles overlap each other.
Removed- Advanced 3D (AE has 3D layers)
- Alpha Map (AE has curves filter)
Removed. They're both obsolete now. AE has 3D layers and the Curves filter.
Merged filters- Slant
- Slant Matte
They're now merged into one filter, CC Slant, with the functionallity of both filters.
New filters- Radial Blur
- Radial Fast Blur
- Vector Blur
- Split 2 (this was a bonus if you registered FEC)
Differences between Cycore FX (bundled with AE 6.5) and Cycore FX HD- Particle Systems
- Particle Systems LE
Removed. Functionallity of both this filters included in CC Particle Systems II.
Saturday, November 06, 2004
This tutorial uses some fantastic plug-ins from Trapcode - Particular and Shine. If you don't own these plug-ins, there are demos available.
FYI, Toolfarm sells bundles of the awesome Trapcode plug-ins as well as individual licenses. Some even come with training.
Friday, November 05, 2004
Tuesday, November 02, 2004
Read the full press release.SAN FRANCISCO, CA Oct. 31, 2004 Toolfarm, the number one supplier of 3rd Party After Effects plug-ins and visual effects software has teamed up with Curious Software to provide it's customers with one of the most talked about 16-Bit Paint and Roto tools, Curious gFX Pro+.
Curious gFX Pro+ is a stand-alone application, and the new choice for 16-bit paint retouch, and rotoscoping among Film and Video Professionals. gFX includes the most powerful paint engine for moving images; the most sophisticated new roto-matte system; and a superb range of features for wire and rig removal or content restoration.
"With many of the large post houses having already adopted it, gFX Pro provides all of the tools necessary for painting and rotoscoping in an effects environment.", says Toolfarm VP of Sales and Marketing, Colin Sharp. We can now provide professional customers with the next generation visual effects tool.
Halid Hatic, President, Curious Software, adds, "Toolfarm has the depth of knowledge and market coverage to provide superior sales and support to Curious gFx Pro+ customers. We look forward with great pleasure to our ongoing association."
gFX Pro+ is offered at $1,995 and an upgrade version of the product for Pinnacle Commotion users is offered at $995. For more information on the limited time Commotion - promotion, please contact Toolfarm's sales department.
About Toolfarm Inc.
Toolfarm.com, based in San Francisco since 1999, is the leading third-party reseller of After Effects Plug-ins and visual effects tools. Known also for distribution, publishing, service and training, it has become the one-stop shop for Adobe After Effects Plug-ins as well as motion graphics tools. It is also the home of Support Farm; an online community of professional digital artists who help users achieve desired effects for a small fee.
About Curious gFX
Curious Software is an innovative software company with a great pedigree. Founded in May 1999, Curious Software's aim is to make the highest quality professional information graphics available to everyone creating content for the television, postproduction, Internet and corporate graphics industries. Curious Software products provide all the tools required to create stunning animations and presentations in easy-to-use and affordable packages. Our series of professional products are all based on a generic multilayered animation engine, designed to accelerate the creation of the highest quality graphics.
For more information about Curious Software and its products please visit curious-software.com
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Wednesday, October 27, 2004
Profound Effects CameraPOV is a suite of 8 video effects for simulating looking through the lenses of various 35mm, digital, or video cameras. Give your crime, reality, documentary, suspense, drama, and other types of footage an interesting look with a minimum of effort.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
The software overcomes matte extraction challenges including uneven lighting, subtle shadows, and edge light contamination (spill) prior to compositing.
There are currently 81 After Effects tutorials on the site, many which are exclusive to Toolfarm. Have fun and learn a lot!
Sunday, October 24, 2004
The tutorials are all for AE 6.5 and are in Quicktime and Windows Media formats. Learn about the new motion tracker, some new filters such as ball action, color finesse and vector blur, the new animation presets and the new paint.
If you didn't see the great review of Total AE, written by Matt Schirado of the West Michigan After Effects User Group, view it here. Matt is a witty guy and quite a wordsmith.
Read the full press release AE FreeMart, known for their leading source of After Effects news, tips and tutorials, will allow Toolfarm customers the ability to locate products, read reviews and purchase all within Toolfarm.com. "Toolfarm, as the leader in After Effects Plug-ins, and AE FreeMart, as the leading source of After Effects news, tips and tutorials, makes it a perfect match", says Toolfarm VP of Sales and Marketing, Colin Sharp. Sharp continues, "Users can now find a product, check reviews and make educated purchase decisions without leaving Toolfarm.com."
Michele Yamazaki of AE FreeMart adds, "I'm really excited to be able to offer my users the products and online support available from Toolfarm. Many artists are on tight deadlines, so the marriage of Toolfarm and AE FreeMart allows customers to get information and products quickly and efficiently."
About Toolfarm Inc.Toolfarm.com, based in San Francisco since 1999, is the leading third-party reseller of After Effects Plug-ins and visual effects tools. Known also for distribution, publishing, service and training, it has become the de facto standard as the one-stop shop for Adobe After Effects Plug-ins as well as motion graphics tools. It is also the home of Support Farm, an online community of professional digital artists who help users achieve desired effects for a small fee.
About AE FreeMartAE FreeMart is an online resource and portal for users of Adobe After Effects and Motion Graphics Tools. Based around non-biased reviews, user stories and tutorials, AE FreeMart also provides downloadable projects and user group listings.
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Tuesday, October 19, 2004
You can download the latest installer from our web site.
Automatic Duck continues to seek help testing the changes they have made to try to support import of 24fps sequences into FCP. If you're interested in helping, please email them.
Visit The Top 10 DVD Authoring Nightmares... And How to Avoid Them.
For years I've heard of this fabled educational resource for Adobe After Effects Users, and a revered name whispered in hushes during casual conversation: Brian Maffitt. Who is this scheming, underground Yoda of AE, and why haven't I beheld his infinite wisdom? My days of secluded ignorance were to quickly end....
Read the rest of the reviewTotal Training for After Effects, Set 1, is now formally digested in my bowels - a comprehensive introduction to AE's interface, general workflow, setup, animation, and particularly specific hick-ups that motion graphic artists would meet in a typical day. I've seen some other DVD-based training for software, but Total Training contains significantly more "meat" than anything.... other than Chris & Trish Meyer's line of AE books. I attempted to jog my brain for any possible topic or technical "gotcha" that might have been overlooked in DVD Set 1, but couldn't come up with one to articulate.
Brian Maffitt, AE Guru
Mr. Maffitt (can I call you Brian?) takes you through AE in such a way as to keep you relaxed and engaged (with some rather poor puns along the way), moving from topic to topic as smoothly as I've ever seen anyone present an application program. Does Brian ever have to do another take? Does he fumble his words? Forget what day it is? The viewer would never know it. The presentations are polished, fluid, and comprehensive enough to explain the "why's" behind every recommendation, and workflows to avoid. I feel the question "why" is the most important question to answer if true understanding of AE is the goal.
The example projects Brian and viewers work through are relatively simple, absolutely necessary to new users, and targeted to exemplifying the concepts of the lesson, be they velocity curves, keyframe manipulation, import options or even working with film transfers and video interlacing. I can see how some newbies might be overwhelmed if they have never seen any Adobe software products before; it really does help to have a mild familiarity with Photoshop and Illustrator (which is pretty much where I am) before you dive into Total Training. Something many viewers might not consider is to just re-view the DVD's, especially if things go by more quickly than you can absorb. I reviewed a couple of sections, which really did make the difference.
Assisting Brian is Steve Holmes (British, I assume), who goes into most of AE's preferences and technical issues that some people might consider tedious, but are actually quite important. This is probably the fastest way to learn about technical issues you can find. The most popular technical tip is the keyboard shortcut, which Steve and Brian offer over and over, for Mac and Windows, with hearty convincing to learn them. Being more mouse oriented, I reluctantly admit some of their shortcuts are indispensable.
I should note that most of the material presented works with Version 5.5 as well as 6.0, and users who didn't get the Pro version won't miss much. I assume later DVD sets will jump into Pro version features, but Set 1 just covers basics. You'll want to make sure you feel comfortable with most of the content, because later lessons will take off using those concepts in spades.
By Matt Schirado, West Michigan After Effects User Group
Matt Schirado works as an editor at a television station, is currently training to be a master of all software with Pixel Corps and writes in his spare time.
Thursday, October 14, 2004
Tuesday, September 21, 2004
So, if you're a super busy artist who doesn't always have time to create everything from scratch, broadcastGEMs is for you. You'll make Roland happy too. ;-)
Monday, September 13, 2004
If you don't know what 'et al.' is, it's always in crossword puzzles. Impress your grandma.
Thursday, September 09, 2004
Tuesday, September 07, 2004
Sunday, August 29, 2004
From Alex (aenhancers.com): "I'm on a pretty huge roto job for the moment, and as I was on my 356'th frame of my 5th sequence, I was starting to have very achy eyes. It kind of sucks that you can't make your mask vertices bigger in AE, and zooming into the comp doesen't make the mask look any fatter. So I contantly had to move very close to the screen to see what I was doing, mostly when the mask was on top of a color similar to its own.
So I remembered the mac os X built in "Zoom" function. Go to the system prefs>universal access. There you can switch on a "zoom" function that lets you zoom into your screen. It is a pretty cool tool for all sorts of purposes, but in my case, using a combination of zooming in the comp in AE and zooming in the screen in the OS, I got a big looking image, with a fat mask I could still see while sitting back in my chair, instead of nose against the screen. More precision / more comfort. (Command+Option+8 should get you there).
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
You'll need a demo or full version of Lux from Trapcode to play along.
If I've said it once, I've said it 100 times (probably closer to 100)... Trapcode's plug-ins rock!If I was stranded on a desert island all I'd really need to survive is a Swiss Army knife, some Pez and Trapcode's 3D Stroke. ;-)
Panopticum Custom Speed allows you to adjust the speed and direction of video playback.
With Panopticum Water 1.0, you can make breath-taking realistic and otherworldly water effects.
Panopticum Rulers is a useful looking plug-in that helps you create various types of scales, clock-type dials, rulers and more.
Panopticum Area FX 1.0, which we announced a few week ago consists of three filters: Area Transformer, Area Wipe and Area Filler.
There's some cool movies of each and of course demos for you to try out.
Sunday, August 22, 2004
Hey After Effects Community,
I'm writing this post in regards to a few Adobe presentations that I've been involved with this year. Specifically NAB, BDA, Adobe Roadshow Atlanta, and Siggraph. I promised that I would post some free tutorials and AEPs from the After Effects master classes and demos that I did. Well I've finally got them posted... since I didnt collect emails I'm hoping that some of the attendees frequent this site and will go to my site to collect them.
The site is The ANVEL and its located under "free tutorials" on the navigation page. There will be 2 folders labeled lessons and movie examples. In the lessons folder you will have a choice to download zipped files or stuffed files. Some lessons will include pdf instructions and 6.5 AEPs and some will only have 6.5 AEPs. In the movie examples folder there will be low res Quicktime examples of each lesson. If you didnt attend any of these shows you're still invited to download the files. Please if you have any questions regarding any of the lessons don't hesitate to email me at email@example.com... just put in the subject line AE FREE TUTORIALS
Cool Beans. The man on the page is nice and ripped too
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Wednesday, August 11, 2004
wondertouch Demos particleIllusion for After EffectsVerbatim from the press release: "Cited for the speed and interactivity of its interface which allows artists to quickly and efficiently deliver effects in real- or near-real time, the particleIllusion plug-in will provide motion graphics and visual effects professionals with easy access to the powerful particleIllusion 3.0 software engine from directly within the After Effects environment."
Previews of the particleIllusion plug-in for Adobe After Effects will take place in the wondertouch booth (#912) each day of the Siggraph convention. The particleIllusion plug-in for Adobe After Effects (Windows and Mac OS X) is expected to ship early in the fourth quarter 2004; pricing to be determined. All versions of particleIllusion can be purchased directly from Wonder Touch.
MAXON Computer presents the 9th generation of CINEMA4DVerbatim: "As part of a continual focus on improving ease-of-use, Release 9 development has focused on refining many areas of the program as well as adding impressive new features such as cloth simulation, sub-polygon displacement, N-Gons and much more."
Maxon Computer is one of our sponsors, too, so please check out their site. CINEMA4D Release 9 is slated to ship worldwide in early September, 2004. It can be ordered through authorized MAXON distributors, like Toolfarm.
Apple Releases Motion and Production SuiteVerbatim from MacCentral: "Apple on Tuesday released Motion, its long-awaited real-time motion graphics design software application aimed at video professionals and others. The software integrates with Final Cut Pro and DVD Studio Pro, and costs US$299." It looks pretty swell and I can't wait to see how it performs against After Effects - very cheap software but the hardware is hardcore!
Production Suite is a new package that combines Final Cut Pro HD, Motion and DVD Studio Pro 3 for $1,299. FCP owners get a break, making the total $699.
Silhouette FX Releases silhouette+rotoPlease see the post from a few days ago for more info. I've been hearing great reviews! Their website has been updated with more information too.
Algolith Announces New Bundles and Lower PricesAlgolith, a leading provider of digital image processing plug-ins for the film, post-production and video industry, announces a substantial price lowering and simplification of all available Plug Ins for Adobe After Effects and other visual effects software packages. Algolith's plug-ins will now be offered in four main categories; Noise Reduction, Frame Rate Conversio, Time Warp, Rendering. The new pricing begins in September.
Wednesday, August 04, 2004
Now I really really need to update the plug-ins section. There has been quite a few new releases in the past week.
The After Effects Channel will offer techniques, tutorials, reviews and profiles and projects. Yay!
The press release was quite long, and there's not much at their website yet, so here's a quick breakdown.
- Advanced, fully animatable shape tools including support for Bezier and continuously adjustable Rational B-Spline based shapes for precise control and ease-of-use. Points, whole shapes, and even groups of shapes can be moved, scaled, rotated and warped.
- OpenGL(R) accelerated real-time shape preview directly over the image.
- OpenGL accelerated rendering.
- Editing of shapes and groups of shapes that can be automatically applied across a range of keyframes.
- Integrated motion trackers that can apply motion to individual points or whole shapes.
- Variable edge softness that can be defined anywhere along a shape.
- Motion blur that is computed automatically.
- Import of shapes from Elastic Reality(R) and Commotion(TM).
- Availability as a plug-in to Adobe(R) After Effects(R), Apple(R) Final Cut Pro(R) and other host applications (check web site for compatibility).
- Availability as a stand-alone application for Windows(R), Mac OS(R) and Linux platforms.
Tuesday, August 03, 2004
Thursday, July 29, 2004
Pretty nice stuff and very useful, especially to those who are really busy and need to crank out "art" at warp speed. The BroadcastGEMs website isn't ready for the world yet, so consider this a sneak peek.
If you have questions or want to know how to purchase them, please contact Roland.
Saturday, July 24, 2004
There will be some big updates in the coming weeks, after I get settled back into a routine and do some laundry
I would like to thank Matt for doing an incredible job updating the news for me. Merci beaucoup, mathewsean! Je l'apprécie vraiment. (Thank you very much, I appreciate it!)
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Free Stuff is at:http://scottfrizzle.com/free.html
Friday, July 09, 2004
After Effects On the Spot: Time-Saving Tips and Shortcuts from the Pros is by Richard Harrington, Rachel Max, and Marcus Geduld. I've chatted with Rachel Max over email a few times over the past couple of years and she is a really talented artist with an impressive resume. I haven't had a chance to check this book out quite yet, but CMP books are always excellent. You may be familiar with Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects, Volume 1: The Essentials, Creating Motion Graphics with After Effects: Volume 2: Advanced Techniques and After Effects in Production by Trish and Chris Meyer, all published by CMP.
Man, do these books have long names, or what!
Thursday, July 08, 2004
I've had the flu or something, my baby has been sick, as is my husband, and two grandmothers who babysit for us are also sick. Hence, not much as been done lately, as you can probably tell by the lack of updates. Flu in July!?!?
Thursday, July 01, 2004
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Friday, June 25, 2004
There's a tip in the article: Red Giant software offers a Commotion to AE roto import plug-in.
So, what are you bringing to the party?
Monday, June 21, 2004
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Yeah, we knew that! If you don't have it, give it a whirl.
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
AnimationMentor.com looks pretty cool though - learn animation techniques from home, or work, or Starbucks. Just don't learn to animate toenail fungus. Please.
First prize is a Zvue handheld video player. Honorable mentions get t-shirts. I love t-shirts.
I can't wait to see how this turns out.
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
A friend from our user group, Demian, has been testing render farming over the internet, kind of how SETI@home works.
Do any of you have any tips for render farming? If so, please post them to the comments. We'd love to hear them.
Monday, June 14, 2004
Thursday, June 10, 2004
This plug-in rocks, just like all the other Trapcode plug-ins. I can't say enough great things about them, plus, they're affordable. I would recommend downloading the demo of Particular. Their introductory low price of $199 expires TODAY!, June 10. Makes a spectacular Father's Day gift.
The site has tutorials for Photoshop, Flash, 3D Studio Max and other software too, and the site has a design that is very pleasing to the eye. You know, on the next makeover of the FreeMart, I may do something more like they've done with their home page.
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
Monday, June 07, 2004
If you haven't tried Useful Things, it's wonderful. Think of all of the things that you wished you could do with AE... well, Useful Things (and Useful Assistants, their other plug-in) will probably allow you to do it.
Friday, June 04, 2004
Thursday, May 27, 2004
While you're at his site check out the tutorials section where Stephen has tips on Lighting, After Effects, Final Cut Pro and more. What a terrific resource!
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
More details, including a full list of prizes and the locations in each city, can be found here (this page will be updated regularly as more details come in). BDA is extending a special price to user group members of $129 for the day (registration is normally $189 before June 1, going up to $209 afterwards) To take advantage of this special pricing, using the following links:
Thursday, May 20, 2004
I haven't seen the film; I don't get to go to the movies much anymore. Lily, the baby, doesn't let me go too often. My friends who have seen it said it's very cool. If you're interested in the film and all the gory details, please check out the link.
To make it an even sweeter deal, if you buy any plug-ins from Panopticum, they're $10US off.
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Saturday, May 15, 2004
Monday, May 10, 2004
I've received an email asking if I know how to create the Nightcrawler effect - and honestly, at first I thought of worms! It's been quite a while since I've been to the movies. Mommyhood does that to a person.
I found an excellent article detailing this effect as well as others from X2.
If you come up with any cool effects and would like a place to share them with the world, mi website es tu website. Just contact us and we'll see what we can do!
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Wednesday, April 28, 2004
The effects are:
CC Glass Wipe
CC Image Wipe
CC Particle Systems
CC Particle Systems II
|CC Particle Systems LE
CC Particle World
CC Pixel Polly
CC Power Pin
CC Radial Blur
CC Ripple Pulse
CC Simple Wire Removal
CC Time Blend
CC Time Blend FX
CC Vector Blur
The 3 effects missing in AE 6.5, compared to the original Metacreations-released set are:
Advanced 3D isn't really necessary in AE now that it has a 3D environment, of course. Alpha Map also isn't really necessary since you can remap alpha using AE Curves, which is already 16-bit. The Curves interface isn't as pretty as Alpha Map's custom UI though ;-)
Glue Gun seems a strange omission. Maybe it's possible with combinations of Vector Paint/Paint and CC Blobblize/Glass, but it won't be as convenient, I think.
The 3 missing filters are in the Media-100 version, but there are 5 plugs which are missing from Media-100 FEC for OS-X which are now included in AE 6.5:
FE Force Motion Blur
FE Particle Systems
FE Particle Systems LE
FE Radial Blur
FE Wide Time
Tuesday, April 27, 2004
It looks like there's a sale price of $149US right now. Get it while it's hot!
Wednesday, April 21, 2004
Tuesday, April 20, 2004
Monday, April 19, 2004
Friday, April 16, 2004
Thursday, April 15, 2004
Tuesday, April 13, 2004
Another really great expressions resource is JJ Gifford's Expressions in After Effects.
Monday, April 12, 2004
The new versions feature improved rendering speed and reduced memory usage. Additionally, Conoa EasyShapes adds some user-requested features. Users now have separate controls for manipulating the opacity of the front and rear of the objects. Users may also invert texture maps horizontally. Since Conoa’s camera model allows the camera to be placed inside objects, this feature maps the video texture correctly when viewed from inside an object.
Friday, April 02, 2004
Wednesday, March 31, 2004
Friday, March 19, 2004
Read more about the report here.
Wednesday, March 17, 2004
The food is fantastic and plentiful (included in the ticket), there's a live band, the company is great and the prizes second to none.
Monday, March 15, 2004
Wednesday, March 10, 2004
And it is incredible! Just check out their gallery, I'm sure you've seen a lot of work done with Cinema 4D. It has been used by Sony, Fox Television, Disney, NBC, CBS, HBO, The Travel Channel, Warner Bros. Television, and many more.
Click the banner above (or this link) and download a free demo.
Thursday, March 04, 2004
While you're there, check out some of the older tutorials and downloads they have available.
Tuesday, March 02, 2004
Monday, March 01, 2004
The books section is not yet complete, but I'm working on it. The AE Books page is going.
When you buy your goods through the AE FreeMart, you not only get a good deal but support this here web site. Now, doesn't that make you feel all warm and fuzzy!
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
BTW, if you're not a Mac user, please check these tutorials out anyway. They work for Windows AE too.
Thursday, February 19, 2004
Perry from Profound Effects gave me a copy to review a while ago. I was totally impressed with the capabilities of his products. Everything that you want to do with AE but can't, give Useful Assistants a try.
Profound Effects also has a couple of freebie plug-ins: Reveal and Bullnose Mask